How to Pay for Emergency Repairs When the Unthinkable Happens

Back to all articles

August 2nd, 2019

July was not kind to Minnesota’s Carver and Scott Counties. With reports of extreme weather that rocked some people’s homes, it’s likely there was some costly damage.

Now, imagine if your home was caught up in this kind of bad weather.

Experts say that the average homeowner should set aside 1% of the purchase price of their property each year for routine maintenance and repairs. That alone can be a significant expense for anyone trying to make it out ahead each year.

But for someone trying to figure out how they’re going to pay for emergency repairs, the stress can be overwhelming.

That’s why today we’re going to take a look at the reality behind dealing with emergency repairs. Plus, we’re going to share with you some of the best ways to pay for those emergency repairs when they take you by surprise.

How Much Emergency Home Repairs Really Cost

General home repairs have the potential to be some of the biggest expenses of the year. But until it actually happens to your home, you may not realize how costly the damage can be.

To help put things into perspective, we’ve rounded up some of the most expensive emergency repairs MN homeowners have to deal with:

  • HVAC Repairs: the average HVAC repair costs $336. You usually only have to replace a clogged drain pipe, filter, or fuse. But if you ignore the issue, and have to replace the entire unit, you’re looking at spending upwards of $10,000.
  • Water Heater Issues: the average cost to fix a water heater is around $529. And while water heaters have a 10-15 year lifespan, you never know what could happen. The last thing you want is to have no hot water, or worse, realize your home has flooded.
  • Driveway Repairs: depending on the extent of the damage, the average driveway fix costs $1,553. Letting the concrete in your driveway or walkway degrade will only lead to more problems. Paying for materials, labor, and anything else (like a rogue tree root) is not something most people are prepared for.
  • Roof Repairs: The average roof repair costs around $770. Roof problems are everyone’s worst nightmare. The damage can range from something as small as a broken tile to a major leak. But be careful, a full roof replacement can cost $25,000.
  • Foundation Problems: Fixing your foundation will cost on average $3,998. But when was the last time you thought about your home’s foundation? Walls cracking, doors refusing to close, floors sinking, or gaps in the windows may indicate foundation issues. And if the thought of fixing the foundation isn’t enough, imagine fixing all the collateral damage too.

As you can see, many emergency repair issues can plague your home at any time. And that’s not including weather-related emergency repairs like:

  • Wind that uproots trees, damages roofs, and collapses walls
  • Hail that damages roofs, windows, and siding
  • Rain that leads to leaky roofs, frozen/broken pipes, and mold growth
  • Fire caused by electrical, cooking, wildfires, or negligence

So, the question remains, how are you going to pay for emergency home repairs when they catch you by surprise?

How to Pay for Costly Emergency Repairs


1. Reprioritize Your Debt

One way to fund an emergency repair is to look at your existing monthly payments and put off the ones you can so you can pay for the damage.

Of course, this only works if skipping or delaying a payment doesn’t come with major penalties. Sometimes missing an important payment can lead to fees, fines, and credit dings. Not to mention, missing payments makes it harder for you to make major purchases in the future.

2. Use a Credit Card

If you can’t delay any monthly debt payments, you might need to use a credit card to pay for the emergency repairs.

According to the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015, 38% of people that don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a minor repair ($400), use a credit card instead.

Although it might seem like a good idea at first, using a credit card to pay for an emergency repair ends up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Example – a $5,000 credit card charge with a 15% interest rate will cost you $2,895 dollars in interest and take 79 months to pay off if you only pay $100 a month. That’s more than half the original charge in interest alone!

3. Turn to Lenders

You can pick from three standard types of lender options when you need money fast:

  1. Pawn Shops: trade valuable (and sometimes sentimental) items to a pawn shop in exchange for a small amount of money. Then, hope you can come up with the money you now owe the pawn shop in time to buy back your items.
  2. Title or Payday Loans: put up some collateral, such as your car’s title, in exchange for a larger sized loan to pay for emergency repairs. Or, write a check, adding finance charges, that will be cashed when the loan is due for repayment. Again, hope you have enough funds after paying the emergency repairs to pay back the loan, or risk losing your collateral, bouncing a huge check, and ruining your credit.
  3. Personal Loans: receive cash based on your creditworthiness to pay for emergency repairs. Then, agree to a repayment plan that is much like paying off a credit card. The interest rates on personal loans are usually lower than credit cards. You also don’t have to front the money, give up personal items, or risk losing your car.

All three ways of securing cash to pay for emergency home repairs might work as a short-term solution. But you should know these strategies usually end up costing you more in the long run.

4. Homeowner’s Insurance

Anyone that owns a home should have homeowner’s insurance to help cover the cost of emergencies. In fact, most lenders require it.

That said, your homeowner’s insurance will only cover some repair costs depending on the type of policy you have. For example, some natural disasters like flooding, are not automatically covered under some homeowner’s insurance policies.

And even if the damage is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, it might not be enough. That means you’ll need additional funds to make repairs.

5. Sell Your Property As-Is

If you’re the victim of extreme property damage and cannot figure out any way to pay for the repairs (or simply don’t want to), you always have the option of selling your damaged home as-is for cash.

When you sell your house as-is using a company like Homestead Road, you enjoy the following perks:

  • Have a knowledgeable representative evaluate your home and present a clear, transparent, and all-cash offer
  • Forget having to make any repairs or clean your home for a showing
  • Never worry about hiring a real estate agent, negotiating sales prices, or paying high commissions
  • Eliminate the stress of what to do in the case of extreme property damage
  • Know that your home will be fixed and sold to a member of the community that needs it
  • Feel comfortable to say no if the offer presented doesn’t work for you

Sometimes, when your home is damaged beyond what you feel is repairable (or affordable), getting rid of it is the best solution.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, contact Homestead Road today and get a quote on how much you can sell your house for as-is.

We want you to “Feel the Joy” after selling your house to our friendly team of experts. We are dedicated to making it easier for you to move on after a damaged home threatens to ruin you financially. From no-pressure sales appointments to renovating your house to look like new, our team strives to provide stellar customer service and relief from unexpected circumstances.